Helping you to help yourself to fewer dental problems and treatments.
If you have any oral health problems such as sore gums or difficulty flossing, come and see us straightaway so we can give you advice or corrective treatment.
Performing a full soft tissue and oral examination also enables us spot some more serious medical conditions, eg the early stages of mouth cancer and potential heart problems (there is a proven link between gum disease and heart disease).
So, having a simple dental check-up could save your life as well as your teeth.
A low sugar diet is good for teeth. The most common cause of tooth decay and gum disease is refined sugars - the kind you find in cakes, sweets, biscuits, fizzy drinks, frosted cereals etc.
But even natural foods like fruit, honey and even Sushi rice can cause plaque acids - which take just seconds to build up and remain in the mouth for around 30 minutes.
It’s not only how much sugar you eat - but also how often. If you must eat sweet things, try and eat them all at once rather than nibbling throughout the day!
We recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day - but not too hard. It's important to preserve the enamel on your teeth so it lasts a lifetime. We can tell you:
- Which type of toothbrush is best for you
- The best technique to use when brushing
- How long to brush for (usually around 5 minutes) how soon to replace old brushes for new ones
- About mouth rinses, flossing, disclosing tablets and other inter-dental aids that may help in your daily routine for better dental health.
Brushing gums gently can help to stimulate the blood flow and keep your gums healthy. But don't over-do it and never make them sore.
We recommend brushing your tongue each morning and night to remove bits of food and mucous that can cause bad breath and tooth decay.
You can do this while cleaning your teeth, brushing firmly but gently. Be sure to get the top and sides, but don’t press so hard that you hurt yourself or gag.
Alternatively, most chemists sell cleaners specially designed for scraping tongues. (Tongue cleaners have been used for thousands of years as part of traditional yoga practice.) Just glide the device firmly across the top and sides of your tongue.
When brushing you can only clean 3 of the 5 sides of your teeth. So, flossing, using interdental brushes or an oral irrigator will be a big help in removing plaque from between your teeth and keeping your gums healthy.
Strong smelling foods like onions and garlic are absorbed into the bloodstream and their odours are transferred into the lungs where you breathe them out. Brushing, flossing, mouthwash and mints may mask the smell temporarily, but won’t get rid of them - the odour will hang around until your body eliminates the food.
The simplest cause of bad breath - and the easiest one to fix - is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth and tongue and floss daily, particles of food will remain in the mouth. Here bacteria will rot them, creating the unpleasant smell known as halitosis.
If you get mouth ulcers that aren’t clearing up quickly (say after 1-3 weeks), please ask us for our advice.
Sometimes eating too much sugar can be the cause, so adapting your diet could help.
But in the short term using very warm salty mouth washes several times a day can be the most effective remedy:
- Put about a dessert spoon of salt in a mug of warm to hot water (but not hot enough to burn your mouth)
- Take a mouthful and swizzle it round for about 30 seconds and spit out
- Repeat several times.
Salty mouthwashes also flush out inflamed gums where particles of get trapped below the gum line.
Aside from making you and your breath smell, smoking also increases the risk of developing gum disease plus mouth, throat and lung cancer and other cancers too. It can also damage your eyesight in later years.